The federal Justice Department says it has begun an investigation into the fatal shooting death of an unarmed black teen in Florida by a neighborhood watch captain.
The agency said in a statement late Monday that it will perform an independent review of the evidence and take appropriate action. Police have described the man who fired the shot, 28-year-old George Zimmerman, as white; his family says he is Hispanic and not racist.
Zimmerman claims he shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last month in self-defense during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford.
College students around Florida rallied Monday to demand the Zimmerman's arrest, though authorities say they may be hamstrung by a state law that allows people to defend themselves with deadly force.